One of the longstanding trademarks of wrestling is matching the Beauty and the Beast. Typically, the brutish obnoxious guy bosses around a drop-dead gorgeous woman who, due to some inexplicable devotion, dutifully takes his verbal abuse.
It was pretty cool to see the WWE actually doing something different with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana and “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev. Lana controlled his path of rage and he listened to her every word even going as far as adopting Russia as his home country.
But for all its talk, the WWE only has room for one strong and powerful woman (whose initials are SM if you need a hint) so Lana eventually became a passive, weak character constantly getting yelled at by Rusev and frequently leaving his side in tears.
That won’t be the case in my wrestling federation though so I was happy to stumble across the Battle Pack featuring the WWE’s other power couple. My main focus here is on Lana since I’m primarily an Elite collector and already have the well done Elite 34 Rusev. Does this pack crush or is this a one figure set? Let’s find out!
Packaging: Battle Pack is such a weird name for this two-pack line as rarely do they feature two opponents, but rather tag teams or managers and their charges. We get the helpful head’s up that this is Lana’s ‘First Time In the Line!’ and that the set includes ‘Breakable Blocks!’
Despite being just a bigger version of the standard Basic packaging, I like this a little more. Mattel tends to try to create some pose with the figures so we kinda get Lana raising Rusev’s arm after he’s crushed another opponent. It’s a clever pose and one that won’t leave you running for the hot water to fix any warped joints due to awkward posing.
The package back is just a larger version of the front card portraits, which is sorta disappointing. I don’t mind the same outfits, but the same exact picture is redundant. And there’s no bio here and just the rest of the figures available in this wave.
Likeness: I figured Lana would be a hard one for Mattel sculptors to get quite right, but this is one of the better Diva head sculpts and the likeness is there. I was tempted to suggest Mattel could have given Lana a more expressive look like a smirk or smile, but the neutral expression is probably the smartest move and it looks good.
Mattel sculptors on the other hand are still trying to nail down Rusev’s likeness. Between this and the Elite version, I’m not sure which headsculpt looks more like him, but neither comes especially close to Rusev — one of those instances where the large portrait backfires on Mattel in showing how far off the likeness remains.
Back to the Lana even has her occasionally worn necklace sculpted — a nice touch, but I’m thinking it’s to ward off any overly protective parent from making too much of Lana’s cleavage.
Lana’s head could probably stand to be up a bit higher to reveal a little more of her neck as she’s got a little ‘no-neck syndrome’ going on.
In the most amazing discovery of the set, Lana actually doesn’t have the left pimp hand that’s found on pretty much every other Diva and gets a left fist. The odd thing is Lana having that hand would be more appropriate considering it could be used for gesturing. I’ll be curious if it could work for any other Diva.
Most impressively, you can cut a pretty striking Lana pose thanks to the plastic skirt, which is formed in a way to simulate Lana’s physique. In that regard Lana is one of the best likenesses we’ve gotten in the line so far.
Scale: Lana is 5’7″, but even with the not tiny heels she’s still looking up to the 6’0″ Rusev. Normally the Diva scale gets scrapped, but Mattel must have figured Lana was worth getting right since she looks to be perfectly scaled to Rusev. Lana will tower over the rest of your Divas though since she’s rarely been on screen with any of them, it’s not as big a problem as say Layla towering over Alicia Fox.
Paint: Lana doesn’t have a lot of paint apps to mess up as her dress and skirt are plastic parts and her arms are painted to match. I had a little paint rub from the skirt, but I’m not sure if that’s at all preventable.
My Rusev looks to be sizing up something to the left as the eyes aren’t centered quite right. The left side keeps having problems as the paint is too thick on the mustache portion of the goatee.
Rusev has a slightly different paint scheme than his Elite counterpart and I like this tight color with the prominent gold better. Like the Elite, Rusev’s name is split with the waist articulation, but it’s not as bad as it could be.
Whatever brush was used for the Defining Moments Razor Ramon figure was thankfully scrapped for Rusev, which features some of the best chest hair I’ve seen in the line thus far. It looks realistically thick without being too ridiculous.Keep in mind of the two you’re going to want to have a better Lana since Rusev is going to keep getting figures in the Basic and Elite lines, so pay much more attention to the Lana paintjob.
Articulation: Lana doesn’t have to do any kicks, suplexes or legdrops. Literally all she’s got to do is stand or be able to lean against the ring, but Mattel gave her a lot more articulation than I expected albeit to the figure’s detriment.
Lana has neck, shoulders, swivel elbow, wrist, waist, upper thigh, knee and ankle articulation. That ankle articulation is actually the shelf display killer as Lana’s ankles aren’t strong enough to support the figure in a standing pose for very long unless you find the sweetest of sweet spots. Even then don’t be shocked when she takes out nearby figures when she falls.
Rusev is a basic figure so you know what to expect. Head, shoulder, forearm, wrist, waist, back and forth hip, knees and ankle. If you just display the figures, the Basic Rusev arguably looks better than the Elite as his thickness isn’t broken up by the torso articulation and his back tattoo is uninterrupted. The trade-off of course is you can kiss off any chance of getting a remotely decent looking Accolade.
Accessories: Battle Packs normally come with some junk bin accessory. I’m not quite sure to incorporate the Breakable Blocks, but having a pair makes it easier for some display I suppose. This seemed another missed opportunity to include the Russian flag though.
Worth it? I appreciate Mattel’s strategy with the Battle Packs when it includes a wrestler and a non-wrestler — especially a Diva. The managers, valets, etc. would be a tougher sell, but pairing them with a wrestler and a random accessory makes it a pretty good deal.
Finding Divas is an exercise in frustration and will typically run you over $20 anyway so from a certain point of view you’re essentially getting Rusev and the blocks for free. If you like this version Rusev headsculpt and want to swap with the Elite one it’s an even better deal.
RATING: 9 out of 10
Lana’s ankles are the only thing holding back a perfect score here. I think with a little superglue that won’t be a problem, but I’m surprised Mattel felt the need to add that articulation when it could lead to so much trouble keeping the figure upright.
Where to get it? Targets just seem to be getting this wave in, but your stores may still be deluged with the HBK/Undertaker, RVD/Rey Mysterio Jr. and Andre the Giant/Big Show wave.
If you’re not feeling especially patient you can always grab a set from site partner Amazon.com.
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